Vettel: I didn’t want to be a complete arse

2018 Russian GP

Bottas doesn't want favor returned by Mercedes

After the awkwardness of Sunday's Russian Grand Prix had settled, Toto Wolff summed up well just why Mercedes-GP had instructed Valtteri Bottas to move out of the way for Lewis Hamilton to allow the Briton to win in Sochi.

The defending four-time champion, who started second on the grid, was helped by Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who allowed him to overtake and then defended him from attack by title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

There's no doubt the move strengthened Mercedes' hand in both championships.

Hamilton will head into the concluding five rounds of the season with a 50-point lead over Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel following his win at the Sochi Autodrom.

"I think the other side [Mercedes] have been very good at communicating that they have an inferior vehicle but I don't think that was the case".

The Briton, who would not have been able to switch places with Bottas had he not pulled off a slick overtake on Vettel after dropping behind at the pitstops, stayed in the auto for some time after he parked up at the finish.

Bottas said the decision was "confusing" and that he was not prepared for it.

"We have a strong package going into the weekend and should be quite competitive there, so I hope that we will be able to see some good results and score more points." . "It would have been a race win for him and we changed it".

"At the end of previous year, I think he won quite a few".

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"Obviously as soon as I came out ahead, then Valtteri found the brake pedal to make life a little bit harder for me, which I didn't mind initially because I thought he'd give me a nice tow", said Vettel.

But Vettel, who began the season with back-to-back victories, also knows he needs a huge slice of luck to stand any chance of halting Hamilton's charge to the title.

Hamilton caught and followed Bottas for several laps, with the latter being backed up by the long-running Verstappen. However, the British drivers' eighth victory of the season was a controversial one owing to team orders imposed by Mercedes.

He said that if his own boss made a decision like Ferrari's, he would not be shy to let Toto Wolff know what he thinks.

Vettel believes it was all played out well by Mercedes, as Valtteri Bottas backed off to push the German into the clutches of Hamilton.

"Rationally, it was the right decision, but our sporting heart says no".

Meanwhile, Vettel's hopes of a dramatic turnaround look increasingly forlorn after finishing third behind the two Mercedes in Russian Federation.

"I was still on engine save mode", he said.

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